Next Clinic Clinic with Clive Milkins in Ocala

After Live Oak (more on that later!), my mom was having some pretty serious health problems. She is fine now, but at the time I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to this clinic. My mom’s family was pretty awesome about me leaving for the weekend and my mom insisted I go. For several months, we had a rotation of family members come down and help us out. Families are pretty cool sometimes.

The first thing that happened was that I got a phone call on the way down saying my saddle had arrived!! While I was disappointed it arrived just after I left, I was super excited to finally see it when I got home (Spoiler: it is super cool).

The clinic was held at Island Farm, just outside Ocala, FL. I couldn’t find a website, but here is their Facebook: The farm was beautiful and I was able to stay at a farm just around the corner with my pony.


Our digs for the weekend

Meghan Benge

This was the view right outside the door to a nice barn apartment we stayed in over the weekend. It’s on AirBNB if you are interested. I’d definitely go back. Zoey says the grass is pretty good, too.

Since I am sort of new at this, and also had a vet appointment the day I left for Florida, I didn’t get/think of to ride Zoey the day we arrived. The following day was the first day of the clinic.

The first thing we (Randy and I) did, was make a spectacle of ourselves by ponying Zoey over to the farm were the clinic was taking place. It was just a little further than I wanted to actually ride. Luckily, I brought my four wheeler, so we just dragged her on over.

The clinician, was Clive Milkins, who I took lessons from on our epic trip to Maine. Clive is freaky good at getting you to do what your horse/pony needs even if you don’t quite get it. Clive also seems to quite like Zoey, which is nice. So, not having been ridden the day prior, Zoey was a little up. Sometimes I think that she takes her job of taking care of me so seriously, she stresses herself out. We mostly worked on getting her to relax and stretch.


Working on a little stretch. My arms are completely out of control.

The clinic was only two days, but I had the opportunity to ride twice the second day. Not sure what I was thinking! It was quite warm so I was quite tired by the second ride. In the morning, Zoey was much better. We worked on some transitions and, don’t be too shocked, people who know me…outside contact. Zoey has this annoying habit of rooting the reins out of my hands when she gets tired. That habit came out here. Something to work on.


Cute, but bratty.

By the second ride, Zoey admitted she was tired and ignored me a bit. There was talk of carrying a whip. All that had to be done was show the whip to Zoey and she immediately started using her hind end better. It was good because we finally got the outside contact really really well. Overall Zoey was really good the second day.


Maybe looking like we know what we are doing.

I also got the opportunity to watch some of the others ride, which was really interesting, each rider had something different to work on, as well as different challenges.

 All in all, Zoey and I learned a lot. Lots to work on. We headed back to Aiken to pick up our saddle!!

About Meghan

I am a photographer/graphic designer in Aiken, SC. I am owned by a herd of ponies. My dogs/best friends are Poppy and Amigo.